2006 Timeline: Newsmakers keep ink flowing

The Madison County Record Dec. 31, 2006, 7:06am

Carol Kugler

Phil Green

Lloyd Cueto

John Baricevic

The 2006 general election by far had the greatest impact on our courts here in the Metro-East. But before and after, lawsuits were filed, hearings were held, verdicts were reached, decisions were made.

From beginning to end, here are the biggest headlines of 2006:

Jan. 7: Paul Evans announced he will run against Lloyd Cueto
Jan. 9: Gordon Maag's defamation suit dismissed for second time
Jan. 11: Former judge Tom Hildebrand's suspension is upheld by ARDC review board
Jan. 11: Peel wants Weber disqualified from Lakin class action
Jan. 19: Watson introduced "Cueto law"
Jan. 23: Gary Peel sues son, ex-wife, and The Record
Jan. 31: First sentences handed down in East St. Louis vote buying scheme
Feb. 1: Judge Weber presides over first trial
Feb. 8: Crowder signs emergency order against Cassens, case assigned to Weber
Feb. 8: Tom Maag leaves Lakin firm to work with Wendler
Feb. 15: Judge Moran leaves office, creates vacancy
Feb. 22: ISBA poll snubs Republican candidates
Feb. 28: Retired Judge Lola Maddox tapped to fill Moran vacancy
March 1: Weber files affidavit defending himself on bias accusation
March 2: Jury reaches defense verdict in Madison County trial
March 15: Kugler announces she will run against Hoffman
March 22: Gary Peel indicted on child porn, obstruction, and fraud charges
March 22: Hildebrand suspended from law indefinitely
March 23: Peel loses job at Lakin Law firm
March 27: Ferguson holds hearing to decide if Weber biased against Lakin Firm
March 29: Callis elected Chief Judge, takes over in May
March 30: Ferguson rules Lakin cases to remain on Weber's docket
April 4: High court refused to hear Elam appeal
April 5: McMorrow announces she will retire in July
April 5: Madison County will add new associate judgeship
April 13: Peel pleas "emphatically not guilty" to charges of bankruptcy fraud, obstruction of justice and two counts of child pornography
April 20: Peel withdraws from all Lakin cases
April 24: Appellate court rules casino workers are seamen and can sue under the Jones Act
May 1: Callis takes over as Madison County Chief Judge, Ferguson assigned to criminal
May 2: Callis announced judge shopping reform
May 5: Illinois Supreme Court refuses to re-hear Price case
May 9: Amiel Cueto seeks $45 million in punitive damages for busted ESL land deal
May 12: Lakins named in sexual assault suit
May 12: Defense verdict reached in med-mal trial
May 17: Lakin accusers tell their story to federal grand jury
May 18: Lakins file suit against accusers claiming extortion
May 24: Callis puts brakes on forum shoppers
May 30: Herndon recuses himself from Peel criminal case
June 1: Tillery files class action against Allstate
June 6: Alton attorney Steve Stobbs named as associate judge
June 7: Lakin files class action against State Farm
June 7: Weber dismisses 'fatally defective' class action
June 9: Phil Green nominated to replace U.S. Attorney
June 14: Sexual assault case against Lakin re-filed in St. Clair County
June 16: ICJL files complaint against Cueto
June 16: Coburn named as special prosecutor against Lakin
June 19: Phillip Morris gets $2.15 billion back from county
June 28: Stack, Crowder appointed to chair arbitration committee
June 28: Weber dismisses Lakin $30 courier fee class action
June 29: Unsell files motion to dismiss Lakin countersuit
July 6: Cueto's election bid may be challenged
July 10: Justices toss Lakin class action against US Bank
July 12: Legal ethics professor says Cueto's candidacy not valid
July 12: GEICO passes 'Avery' test, dismissal marks end of era
July 18: Stack replaces Byron as chief of civil division
July 19: ATLA votes in favor of name change
July 21: Maddox rejects suggestion that Madison County is overwhelmed
July 27: Arbitration program ok'd in Third Circuit
July 28: Maddox dismisses Lakin class action
Aug. 1: Summary judgment for Airborne upheld by appellate court
Aug. 3: Sims asks for clemency
Aug. 3: Governor sprinkles another $1 million on Simmons' baseball dream
Aug. 8: Atrazine poses no harm, EPA finds
Aug. 9: Peel wants charges dropped
Aug. 14: Thomas Lakin gives up law license
Aug. 16: Stack dismisses extortion suit filed by Lakin
Aug. 22: Mental Health Court introduced in Third Circuit
Aug. 22: Peel misled prosecutors during evidence search
Aug. 24: Stack tosses loan fee class action
Aug. 31: 'Judge shopping' rule challenged by Tillery firm
Sept. 5: Cueto's name is certified for November ballot
Sept. 7: SMASH supports retention of Madison County judges
Sept. 12: SMASH endorses Weber and Hackett
Sept. 12: Peel's wife sues The Record
Sept. 14: Maddox rules no cause of action in fax fee class action
Sept. 14: Bathon criticizes Prenzler for ties to 'extreme' organization
Sept: 14: Med mal attorney dismisses suit for fear of Judge Weber
Sept. 21: New class action in Madison County marks 400th since 2000
Oct. 3: Amiel Cueto's appeal rejected by U.S. Supreme Court
Oct. 3: Treasurer's son beats up funeral home director
Oct. 10: Stiehl denies Peel's motions to dismiss
Oct. 16: Appellate Judge Terrence Hopkins dies
Oct. 17: 'No harm, no foul,' the Fifth reverses $8.5 million judgment
Oct. 18: Trial lawyers' profits dwarf business revenue in Illinois, report shows
Oct. 26: Appellate Court upholds summary judgment for FedEx
Oct. 26: Prenzler claims Bathon running business on taxpayer time
Oct. 31: Attorneys' fees $16.8 million in Paxil class settlement
Nov. 2: U.S. Attorney not letting up on Peel
Nov. 2: Gordon Maag's appeal turned down by Fifth
Nov. 7: Madison County judges easily win retention
Nov. 7: Crowder, Hylla easily win election
Nov. 7: Cueto tops Evans
Nov. 7: Stewart defeats McGlynn
Nov. 8: Bouncing on trampoline not an exact science, judge rules
Nov. 10: 'Burroughs' dropped from firm name; now known as 'Hepler Broom'
Nov. 15: Defense verdict reached in Madison County weld trial
Nov. 15: Weber dismisses class action against H&R Block
Nov. 16: First Banks check fee case dismissed by Weber
Nov. 27: U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Price v. Philip Morris
Nov. 29: Asbestos down, but out-of-state plaintiffs dominate
Nov. 30: Lakin asks for last minute Weber substitution; claims judge is biased toward firm
Dec. 1: Judge Maddox puts exclamation on career
Dec. 4: St. Clair and Madison County judges sworn in
Dec. 4: Third Circuit adopts mandatory arbitration program
Dec. 6: Lakin sexual assault case continued
Dec. 6: Judge Young arrested for DUI; Chief Judge is passenger
Dec. 7: Coon firm files another batch of asbestos-silicosis suits in Madison County
Dec. 12: Maddox tosses class action on last day in office
Dec. 13: Baricevic elected temporary chief in 20th Circuit
Dec. 13: Defendants have banner year in Madison County
Dec. 18: Baricevic appoints Marion attorney in Young DUI case
Dec. 20: ARDC files complaint against Tom Lakin

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